If you’re looking to escape, you’re in luck. Fantasy films like Teen Wolf and Liar Liar showed up on new streaming services this month, joining flicks that were already there like Enchanted, Willow, The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King, and several Harry Potter films.
With the holidays behind us, it’s the perfect time to sit back and get reacquainted with classic titles like The NeverEnding Story, or catch up on newbies you missed like The School for Good and Evil. Get out of your own head this January and take a trip into imaginary arenas with these movies.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)
If you’ve only got time to rewatch one film in the Harry Potter franchise, it may as well be Order of the Phoenix. After all, though it was the longest installment of the book series, it’s the second-shortest of the eight Potter films, clocking in at 2 hours and 18 minutes.
This installment sees the unbearable Dolores Umbridge (Imelda Staunton) as a new teacher at Hogwarts as she torments the young wizards and witches — especially Harry (Daniel Radcliffe). Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) distances himself from Harry, though he doesn’t find out why until later. And, worst of all, Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) is back — if only Harry can get anybody to believe him.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is now streaming on Peacock.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)
The eight-film Harry Potter film series ended with this action-packed installment that sees Harry in a final showdown with Lord Voldemort. It all ends with an epic battle at Hogwarts in which Harry and best pals Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson), and nearly every other ally they’ve ever had, face off against Voldemort and his evil army of Death Eaters.
It’s also the installment where we learn Professor Snape’s (Alan Rickman) true loyalty, and the rest of what Dumbledore was cooking up behind the scenes before he died. It’s an emotional journey with some tough losses on the side of Dumbledore’s Army and the Order of the Phoenix, but it’s worth hanging in there.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is now streaming on Peacock.
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017)
Guy Ritchie’s take on this classic story was intended to be the first of a multi-film franchise, but due to King Arthur: Legend of the Sword pulling in a weak box office performance, the adventure ended here. It’s still worth a watch for the sweeping castle scenes, a giant snake, and a magical sword, among other things.
Charlie Hunnam stars as King Arthur and Jude Law plays his uncle, the throne-coveting tyrant Vortigern, who wants his nephew dead.
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is now streaming on Hulu.
Amy Adams stars as a classically Disney-styled princess who’s exiled from her fairy tale world by an evil queen (Susan Sarandon) to New York City, where she pops up in Times Square through a manhole. She encounters Robert Philip, a divorce lawyer played by Patrick Dempsey, who falls in love with her in spite of her poofy princess dresses and penchant for breaking out into song in Central Park.
Expect dragons amid Manhattan skyscrapers, swords being stabbed through city buses, and lots of mayhem in Times Square.
Enchanted is now streaming on Disney+.
Neverland is brought to life in Hook by an all-star cast that includes Robin Williams as Peter Pan, Dustin Hoffman as Captain Hook, and Julia Roberts as Tinker Bell. Directed by Steven Spielberg, it’s set after the events of the novel, Peter and Wendy.
We catch up with Peter Pan as an adult with three kids. He’s a workaholic attorney named Peter Pan who doesn’t remember his past until Captain Hook resurfaces and takes his children to Neverland. During the adventure, Pan unlocks the memories of his childhood.
Hook is now streaming on HBO Max.
More than three decades before it was a Disney+ series, Willow landed on the big screen, roping in fans with its special effects and endearing characters. Warwick Davis stars as aspiring sorcerer Willow, whose family finds a baby that was sent away by her mother to protect her from an evil sorceress (Jean Marsh).
Willow is ordered by his village leader to return the baby to its own kind to raise it. But he runs into some trouble and makes it his duty to ensure the baby’s safety, meeting a mercenary named Madmartigan (Val Kilmer) along the way, who eventually joins Willow’s mission.
Willow is now streaming on Disney+.
13 Going on 30 (2004)
Be careful what you wish for. Jenna Rink, the main character in 13 Going on 30, finds this out the hard way. In the year 1987, an awkward 13-year-old girl played by Christa B. Allen is having some trouble with her classmates and is desperate to fit in. With things not working out, she wishes she was no longer in her teen years, and instead, to be “grown up.”
Her dream comes true and she wakes up in 2004 as a now-30-year-old played by Jennifer Garner. While it’s fun to play adult for a while — having a powerful job, romantic interests, and being able to stay out late and party on a school night — the excitement eventually wears off when things haven’t ended up exactly how she’d hoped. Mark Ruffalo stars as the adult version of her love interest, Matt.
13 Going on 30 is now streaming on Peacock.
The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King (2003)
Widely regarded as not just the best film in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, but one of the best films ever made, The Return Of The King won all 11 Academy Awards it was nominated for, including Best Picture, and Best Director for Peter Jackson.
As the final film in the trilogy based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings novel, this one sees Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Sam (Sean Astin) continue on their journey taking the One Ring to Mordor to destroy it, but Gollum has other things in mind. Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Orlando Bloom, Liv Tyler, and Cate Blanchett also star.
The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video
The School for Good and Evil (2022)
A school to train wannabe fairy tale heroes and villains? Sign us up! Of course, things aren’t exactly as they seem, and the evil side of the School for Good and Evil spices things up for two best friends who are attending. Sophia Anne Caruso (who played Lydia in the Broadway musical version of Beetlejuice) stars as Sophie, who was really hoping to be placed in the School for Good, but gets into the School for Evil. Her BFF Agatha (Sofia Wylie), who doesn’t want to be in the school at all, gets placed on the Good side.
There’s plenty of tension, along with magic, mystery, and murder. Laurence Fishburne, Michelle Yeoh, Patti LuPone, Cate Blanchett, Kerry Washington and Charlize Theron are among the other cast members.
The School for Good and Evil is now streaming on Netflix
Liar Liar (1997)
In Liar Liar, Jim Carrey stars as a lawyer whose nonstop tall tales make him a great defense attorney, but a terrible dad and ex-husband. When he fails to show up at his young son’s birthday and gives a bogus reason for missing it, Max (Justin Cooper) wishes that for one day, his father couldn’t tell a lie.
The wish comes true and we see the lawyer, Fletcher Reede, bumble his way through awkward elevator encounters and in the courtroom by blurting out the truth in instances where fibbing would have made his life much easier. Chaos ensues until we find out if he’s able to make things right. Maura Tierney, Cary Elwes, Anne Haney, and Jennifer Tilly also star.
Liar Liar is now streaming on Peacock
The NeverEnding Story (1984)
Whether you were an ’80s kid who grew up on this classic — or first realized it existed after Dustin and Suzie sang the movie’s theme song on Season 3 of Stranger Things — The NeverEnding Story never gets old. Based on the 1979 novel of the same name, It follows Bastian (Barret Oliver), a young boy who runs into a bookstore after being chased by bullies and takes a book called The Neverending Story, reading it in his school’s attic.
He gets wrapped up in Fantasia, the fantasy world in the book, and its characters, including a young warrior named Atreyu (Noah Hathaway) and a luck dragon called Falkor. Fantasia is being wiped out by a force called The Nothing and Atreyu, despite his best efforts, is unable to stop The Nothing. Bastian soon realizes he’s the only one who can save Fantasia and the characters he’s come to love — if only he uses his imagination.
The NeverEnding Story is now streaming on Prime Video
Teen Wolf (1985)
The premise is exactly what the title implies. Teen Wolf follows Scott Howard, a high school basketball player who finds out he has a family curse that makes him turn into a werewolf, which he only just discovered after sprouting some excess hair and growing fangs. Michael J. Fox stars as the title character, while James Hampton plays his dad, who’s also a werewolf.
Being set in high school and all, there’s of course a romantic twist, with two different love interests competing for his attention. A financial hit, the movie led to an animated series in 1986, a 1987 sequel starring Jason Bateman in the lead role, and an MTV series of the same name that ran from 2011 to 2017.
Both Teen Wolf and its sequel, Teen Wolf Too, are now streaming on HBO Max
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The 12 best fantasy movies you can stream right now, from ‘Harry Potter’ to ‘Enchanted’
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